Q : Hello Mr Stevenson , thank you for taking the time to sit down and do this interview. How did you get started?
A: I used to race in Down Hill and Cross Country Mountain Biking events; I was very fit and had an athletic physique. At that time my bodyweight was approx. 13’2 lbs. / 184 lbs. / 83.4 kg and at six feet tall, I felt pretty skinny.
I then had an accident whilst riding and broke my clavicle (Collar-bone) and damaged ligaments and tendon in my right arm, I spent six weeks in a sling and the result was wasting of the muscle (atrophy) in my right arm and shoulder. In Sept 1999 I visited a renowned physiotherapist and accomplished body builder Stuart Cosgrove. Stuart used to treat and train with Dorian Yates and has treated Ronnie Coleman, Ernie Taylor to name just a few. Stuart treated the injury over a course of weeks and once recovered explained that I needed to rebuild the muscle or this would result in permanent weakness. Stuart set me a programme and instructed me to increase my protein intake to assist in recovery and strengthening by promoting repair to muscle tissue.I continued riding and weight training and felt stronger than ever, my riding improved due to my upper body and core strength which helped manoeuvre and control the bike especially over rocky terrain. After a few months training Stuart commented on the rapid change in my body composition and suggested I take up body building as he felt I had good genetics, Stuart offered to mentor me and six months later I competed in my first bodybuilding competition, I placed fourth in the Intermediates at the Mr Northern UK show, I was delighted and no one believed I had been training for a total of twelve months. I now began to feel this was the right direction for me to take and under Stuart’s guidance I set about training for the same competition the year after. I entered the following year and won my class at 15’1lbs! I was hooked!
Several years of training and studying every piece of information I could find, led to me achieving more trophies and then ultimate prize. I bought my own gym, Olney Health & Fitness Ltd based in Olney near Milton Keynes in November 2005. I became a qualified Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer and have since helped many others compete. Boditronics offered to sponsor me and have done so for many years now until I recently signed up with NRGFUEL. I currently weigh 210 lbs. or 133kg with a body fat of approx. 10%.
Q: Where are you from, how old are you and which are your stats now?
A: Martin Stevenson – Competitive Bodybuilder/Gym Owner/Independent Sports Nutrition Distributor
Age 43 living near London in the UK
Weight (Off Season 210 lbs / 133kg) (Competition 190 lbs /120.6kg)
2001 OPEN ‘Mr. Northern UK’ Intermediates 4th
2001 OPEN ‘Mr. Northern UK’ Open 4th
2002 OPEN ‘Mr. Northern UK’ Intermediates 1st
2002 OPEN ‘Mr. Northern UK’ O/80kg 2nd
2002 EFBB ‘Mansfield Classic’ Intermediates 3rd
2002 EFBB ‘British Finalist’ Intermediates
2002 OPEN ‘Fitness 2000-Mike Ahearn Classic’ Intermediates 1st
2002 OPEN ‘Fitness 2000-Mike Ahearn Classic’ OPEN 4th
2003 NABBA ‘Mr. England’ Intermediates 4th
Nov 2005: Opened my own gym Olney Health & Fitness Ltd in Milton Keynes Area
2006: Qualified as Personal Trainer
2007 UKBFF ‘Midlands’ Super Heavyweights 2nd
2007 UKBFF British Super Heavyweights Finalist
2010 UKBFF ‘Leicester’ Super Heavyweights 1st
2010 UKBFF British Final Super Heavyweights 5th
2010 UKBFF ‘Mr. Hercules’ Super Heavyweights 3rd
2011 IFBB Amateur Olympia International Grand Prix 9th
2011 UKBFF ‘Bodypower’ Super Heavyweights 3rd
2011 UKBFF ‘Bedford’ Super Heavyweights 1st
2011 UKBFF British Super Heavyweights Finalist
2011 WABBA Mr. UNIVERSE Germany Extra Tall Class 7th
2012 IBFA Mr. UNIVERSE Italy, Tall Class 3rd
2012 IBFA Mr. EUROPE Italy, Tall Class 2nd
Q: How long do you train? And how do you train?
A: I train 5 days per week for approx. 80mins each session, I train for 6wks Heavy (10 reps with 2 min’s rest between sets) then I train for 6wks (15 reps with 30 sec’s rest) and then repeat.
My split looks something like:
Mon: Chest & Abs
Wed: Legs & Abs
Thurs: Shoulders, Traps & Rear Delts
Fri: Biceps/Triceps & Abs
Q: Tell us about your training? Do you have a particular philosophy?
A: I believe that your body adapts to its environment so to improve you must constantly change your workouts to increase intensity, this can be achieved with increased weight, by reduced rest time, increased volume or slow negative reps.
Q: Your Arms and legs continue to improve. What are you doing differently for these groupings?
A: The training split I use allows me to train each body part heavy but as part of the recovery I train for example arms on a Friday, my idea being that I have worked my triceps heavy on my Chest and Shoulder workouts and my biceps on my back workout so that on a Friday I concentrate on filling up the muscles with fresh blood and oxygen to assist recovery and stretch the fascia
Q: What Music do you listen to when you’re training?
A: Linkin Park, Jayzee, Eminem, House Music
Q: What do you think the biggest mistake people make when it comes to train ?
A: The usual mistakes they are often in too much of a hurry to increase muscle size, they need to be patient, work hard, eat well, rest and above all be consistent. Keep good form at all times, don’t risk injury with poor form swinging on too heavy a weight.
Q:What your diet consists, and why? And how much the right nutrition is really important for you, for build muscles?
A:My diet consists of 1.8g protein /2g carbs / 0.5g Fat per lb. in bodyweight so at my current weight 21’0 lbs. /294 lbs. / 133kg I consume 530g protein / 600 g carbs / 140g Fat.
Protein whole-food sources: Chicken, Turkey, Steak, Tuna, White fish, egg whites
Protein Supplements: Glutamine, BCAA’s, Whey, Micellar Casein
Carbs whole-food sources: Basmati rice, Sweet Potato, Baked Potato, Oats, small amount of fruit
Carbs Supplements: Vitargo (Fast acting Carbohydrate) be.supreme by Genr8
Fats: Udo’s oil, Olive oil, Walnuts, Almonds, egg yolks, oily fish
Q:What Supplements you use?
A:It is paramount to have a balanced diet and I try in the main to use supplements for around 50% of my calorie intake and whole-foods for the remaining 50%, this keep the gut healthy and intestines clear with lots of fibre. The clearer the intestine the more nutrients you can absorb. I use in the main NRGFUEL supplements as they are my sponsor, I have found NRGFUEL to have no nonsense approach, they produce a high specification product, backed by research and without the hype and bogus claims of some of the industries less reputable companies.
I take 100% Whey / Vitargo Carb Powder first thing on waking in the off-season, this signals my body to stop being catabolic and return to a positive nitrogen balance. The reason I use Whey is that it is rapidly absorbed and the advantage of Vitargo over glucose is that it is absorbed 70% faster. I take this in the form of 50g Protein and 60g Carbs in the morning and for Post-Training 75g Protein and 100g Carbs to replenish glycogen and begin the recovery process (Consumed immediately Post-Workout) then eat a whole-food meal 60-90mins later as this represents the anabolic window.
BCAAs Branch Chain Amino Acids are the 8 Aminos that the body cannot make from other amino acids, therefore supplementation of BCAAs is essential in times of increased stress from heavy training or dieting.
NRGFUEL L’Glutamine When dieting I take L’Glutamine with water on an empty stomach pre-cardio in the morning, pre-training and before bed. With L’Glutamine it is very important not to take it with other forms of protein as the aminos compete for absorption so wait at least 20mins before taking other forms of protein. L’Glutamine can reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), helps improve gut health and improves immune system. L’Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and so should be topped up when being depleted by hard training.
NRGFUEL TTP Anabolic This is a Whey/Micellar Casein mix as a peptide this offers a time release effect and so can be taken any time of day to boost protein intake or as a stand-alone shake. It is high in BCAAs and has pre-biotics to aid digestion. This is a Pre and Post Workout shake again high in BCAAs but with added Creatine and Beta Alanine which delays fatigue, Profusion also has added carbs in the form of glucose and maltodextrin. This type of product is now referred to as an ‘All in One’
NRGFUEL Casein This is a Micellar Casein this offers a time release effect the Micellar Casein is slow to digest in this product making it ideal before bed to reduce catabolism through the night. It is high in BCAAs.
Other NRGFUEL Products also used: Increase strength
UDO’s Oil Special blend of non-fish oils to give optimum ratio of EFA’s Essential Fatty Acids, including Omega 3, 6 and 9. This blend helps lubricate joints, control blood sugar, increase energy, moisturise skin, improve healing, increase concentration and improve cardio vascular function.
Example of (Off Season )diet Meal 1: 50g Whey Isolate/ 60g Vitargo Meal 2: 150g (Dry) Oats / Chopped Banana / 3 Scoops Whey Vanilla / 3 Dessert Spoons Udo’s Oil Meal 3: Large Baked Potato / Broccoli /300g Fillet Steak Meal 4: Pre-Training 3 Scoops TTP Anabolic Meal 5: Post-Training 75g Whey Isolate / 100g Vitargo Meal 6: 100g (Dry) Basmati Rice, / 300g (Cooked) Turkey Meal 7: Large Sweet Potato / 300g (Cooked) Chicken Meal 8: 3 Scoops Casein / 3 Dessert Spoons Udo’s Oil
Q: How does your diet vary off-season to pre-contest?
A: I prefer to stay in good shape all year around and don’t see any benefit from putting on too much fat as it just makes tying your shoelaces so difficult without puffing and panting. The only weight I want to carry around with me is lean muscle tissue not an extra 70 lbs. of fat which affects your blood pressure and joints. My carb intake is moderate and my fat intake is higher than most, I must add that most of my fat intake is in the form of Udo’s Oil a blend of healthy fats with Omega 3, 6 & 9 EFA’s this is a good source of energy without water retention as high carbs cause water retention. Udo’s is also fantastic for joints, skin and has multitude of other health benefits.
Q: Do you believe … that bodybuilding has helped you into your life? And you think the bodybuilding can help the man giving much more confidence, determination…?
A: I think Body Building for me has played a huge part in my life, its helped me through some difficult personal situations, the routine of eating and training has seen me through some dark times and its always remained a constant regardless of whatever else has been going on. It has helped my mental strength, focus and determination in all areas of my life.
Q: You really have huge muscles for your size, but always round and look nice, congratulations, it is essential to posing right for bodybuilder? What do you think?
A: you should pose on a regular basis it helps to refine your technique and gives you the opportunity to evaluate your physique and expose your weak points so that you can address them.
Q: Can you image, at your begin of your training you will be huge like you are now?
A: No not at all. I started training to help recover from a cycling accident and had never considered weight training never mind Bodybuilding
Q: What keeps you motivated to compete year after year?
A: I have 3 children my eldest daughter Ashley aged 18, my eldest son Callum aged 16 and my youngest son Jaime aged 11, they all think it’s great to have a Dad that everyone notices. My son Callum was starved of oxygen at birth and has Cerebral Palsy as a result of damage to his brain, it has mainly affected his ability to stand and so he is in a wheelchair. The fact that Callum is disabled motivates me to do the best I can with my body and he is very proud to have a Dad like the HULK. Callum himself is a big lad and I need to be strong to lift him LOL. I never wanted to wake up one day fat, bald and ready for a heart attack due to poor diet, excessive drinking and lack of exercise.
Q: How do you stay motivated?
A: 99% of people couldn’t do what I do, they don’t have the willpower, I think that separates me from ‘Normal’ people. In the famous words of Arnold Schwarzenegger : I would hate to be the same as everyone else.
Q: What is the bodybuilding, for you?
A: It gives my training a purpose and meaning, it helps to ensure I do not miss meals and workouts, it’s an opportunity to show off your hard work and dedication to others who appreciate your efforts
Q: When you compete again?
A: May 2013 NABBA Qualifier
Q: Mr Stevenson tell us some funniest responses people give you when they see someone as hulk-like and shredded like you walk down the streets?
A: People are either very intimidated or want to rush up and ask lots of questions, last year I was in Paduda, Italy competing in the WABBA Universe and the IBFA Universe and European shows and people would constantly ask for my photograph like I was a movie star, it got to the point that I could barely walk 30m without being stopped. I always stop for photos and chat to people, I want Body Building and Body Builders to be seen in a positive way, after all we are dedicated athletes but sometimes the media portray us as aggressive and narcissistic.
Q: What is your advice for the younger bodybuilder who looks up to you?
A: Take your time, sculpt your physique don’t just try to add muscle at any cost as you will ruin your shape, work on your weaknesses and above all be consistent with your diet and training and the results will come. Be healthy, look after your body as it has to last the whole of your life.
Q: There some message you want to communicate for our readers for do their best into bodybuilding?
A: Try to enjoy your training and be professional in your approach regardless of whether you are going to compete or not, set a great example of self-discipline, help and encourage others to reach their goals, be healthy and avoid the ‘More is better’ approach as its not usually the way forward!